I’ve been thinking about Halloween, Russ. Back when I was teaching the young ‘uns at Miss Miniver’s Finishing School, it was more or less assumed that all of the teachers would wear festive attire on Halloween. Not wanting to be a stick-in-the-mud, I would always do a little something, but generally it would be along the lines of orange and black clothing. Or striped witchy tights. Some teachers, though, would go completely nuts, wearing, like, crazy ax-murderer outfits or huge get-ups that made them completely unrecognizable.
I had mixed feelings about this situation, as I do now. This guy tends to take the view that all forms of celebration, including Halloween and Christmas, are for little babies — but not for really little babies because they don’t know any better so why bother? (I’m still trying to pin him down on all of this, but from what I have been able to piece together from his various rants, there is a brief window between the ages of four and five during which modest celebrations are appropriate.) I admit, I am somewhat sympathetic to his perspective: there is definitely a tone of voice in which certain adults say, “Halloween is my favorite holiday,” that freaks me out a little. And as I said, I could never quite bring myself to spend weeks on a costume that the Miss Miniver’s girls would just mock behind my back anyway. But I certainly don’t begrudge adults the right to put on costumes for a party that won’t be attended by children, and I genuinely love that a couple of our neighbors go really crazy decorating for the local kids.
I can’t quite put my finger on when I find grown-ups Taking the Joke Too Far, Halloween Style kind of charming, and when I find it a bit sad/creepy/desperate. I know that I get a little obsessed with these threading-the-needle questions (romantic letters = rad! amateur musician writing woman a mushy song = vomit!) but, you know, whatever. I get obsessed with everything that I don’t forget within thirty seconds, but somehow, you still tolerate me.
So I ask you, Russ: what are you gonna be this year? I’m going to be Person Answering the Door with a Bowl of Candy.